This Issue of The Data Domain newsletter celebrates tha sixth anniversary of The Data Domain,
The past six years have seen a revolution In the world of small computers, and The Data Domain
has been a significant part of that revolution. Examples of the distance small computing has
traveled In these years can tie seen throughout this issue of the Newsletter. We have features on
two of the newest entries: the Osborne 1, the first computer that comes complete with
applications software at the price of a good stereo; and the NEC, one of the first of the
Japanese competitors. We have features on software for the machine that made personal computers
a national popular phenomenon, the Apple II. The Data Domain has been part of this microcomputer
revol ution from the earl lest days of the do- It-yoursel f idts to today' s sophi sticated hardware
and software that comes ready to solve all manner of problems from tax returns to wordprocessing
to record keeping. This is Just the beginning, so stay tuned.
John V. LombardI, Editor
It is bard to believe that I've spent over six years of my life in this business. Especially
when you consider that in the 32+ years since I graduated from high school, the longest I've been
with any one employer was the five and a half years In the U>S. Army.
Although this industry, tiorn only a few years ago in mid-1975, hasn't matured very much-, the past
six years have seen tremendous change.
Most of the pundits of microland have the story of the small computer industry all wrong. They
constantly tout the founders of Apple, Vector Graphics, Alpha Microsystem, etc., as being the
entrepreneurs who created a new industry. That Is just not the whole story. It Is true that
traditionally (at least in this high technology area) new companies have been founded by people
who perceive a need, have the credentials and persuasive power to obtain the backing of venture
capital, or use their personal resources to finance their projects. As a cofounder of ADDS, I'm
most familiar with this process. I'm also personally acquainted with the founders and backers of
a fair number of such companies.
But our industry is distinctly different, and I'm disappointed that so little recognition of this
difference Is apparent, especially in the various business schools we come in contact with
through our university customers.
The Data DcMiiain Newsletter
This difference is simple. The microcomputer industry was created by the pioneer retai lers . Now
if that sounds like an ego trip, let me explain. When the first computer store opened in July of
1975 there were Altair computer kits by MiTS, with Cromemco's Dazzler close behind. By the time
The Data Domain opened in February of 1976 there were about 11 computer stores (all but one,
maybe two are gone now), and Byte, SCCS Interface. Dr^ Dobbs Journal and the tabloid. There
was the IMSAI computer, as well as equipment from Processor Tech, Tarbell, and a ^^P^^
others. There was no Apple, Vector Graphic, Dynabyte, Alpha Micro. PET, TRS-80, or the other b.g
names of the present industry. Computer stores were opening rapidly and we had a very limited
product to sell, while demand was incredible. It was so strong, the dealers so inexper.enced
the custodiers so patient that we, the early retailers accepted discounts ranging from "«+hMng to
a high of 25$. We paid in advance, or C.O.D., for products that didn't exist, based on promises
from people we had never met (Steve Jobs of Apple among them), just to get something to sell.
The manufacturers had it made. They were paid C.O.D. or in advance by dealers, telephone
customers, mail order customers, and when they accunni I ated -enough orders to pay for the parts or
impress the banks, they produced the_prod^ct. It wa^ a _senersjnaj-ke1^ andj^^^
—any deaT they couTd^et,
The only software in existence in those days were various versions ^^'J'^"'^"
rewrites of Intel's Assembler/Editor and bootleg copies of Microsoft Altair 4K/8K Basic
-Manufacturers" were garage operations. The principals could not "^^^^^ '^J;/^^^^^^
capitalists, and so depended on the mail order, telephone, and big orders from retailers
pre-Jl or C.O.D., for thei- cash. Remember that back then very few products were sold
assembled and tested. Most were sold as Kits, so there was no ^IrZZl
production and burn-in facilities. All you needed was a good printed '^'^"'^J^^;;*'^/^
Lufactured by companies who specialized in p.c. boards) and a source of I.C.s and other parts,
some sort of manual, shipping boxes, and sales literature.
Anyway, I say that it wasn't the manufacturers who "created" the personal computer industry
iTthe retailers, whose demand for something to sell, and willingness to accept those terms,
that injected the capital to develop an industry.
Enough useless philosophy, the two most important things I can say this month are:
AS of Monday, February ist, 1981, we are officially dealers for the ^^'^-^ ' ^^^^j
! ere is no way we can beat the S1795 price. If you add up ^^/^^V^ ^^^^ '"^.^'^ ^
software packages they total about S1500 at list. This and a complete computer for J17957 More
on this machine below in the Newsletter.
, Not only is it our birthday month, but it is inventory tax time. We've still got a lot of
through it. If you don't like the price tag, see me or Roy and haggle a bit. 1 ve priced these
Ilems at w at 1 Jhink are fair prices, designed to give you a good deal and m.nimize our losse
?t. But I have always been sympathetic to a real need with limited dollars to spend, so I can
at least be counted on to listen to any offer.
Happy birthday to us.
Ray Borr i 1 1
From the Apple Pit
.t-s time for the first upswelling from the Apple-Pit for 1962. The new year has started with
all kinds of new software and hardware available for the Apple II.
The Data Domain Newsletter
Have you seen the announcements of the intelligent printer interface cards for the Apple H? One
such card that has been advert ised recent I y i s the Microbuf f er I I . The card conta ins its own
mi croprocessor , ROM, and RAM, The ROM conta ins built-in print formatt i ng and graph i cs dump
routines to avoid the necess I ty of load ing separate programs. The RAM ( up to 52K) a I lows a
hardware pr Int S|>ool ing, and a Snapshot opt ion a I lows vi deo ' frame-grabbi ng ' into the print
spooling buffer to dump screens from uninterrupted programs to the printer. The 32K card is $299
plus $69 for the Snapshot option,
Videx has a new add-on for your Apple, the Enhancer-ll, The Enhancer-ll is meant to be installed
on revision 7 or latter Apple-Hs (recognized by the piggy-back keyboard encoder board below the
keyboard and the 2316 character generator ROM in the motherboard). The standard Apple keyboard
is upper case only and is designed to allow entry of 91 out of the possible 128 ASCII characters.
The standard Apple keyboard does not have aoto-repeat (this feature can be added: see the
article in the January issue of Nibble magazine). The Apple keyboard has a one character buffer.
Consequently, if you type anything while the Apple is otherwise busy, only the last character
typed is remembered. The Videx board replaces the piggy-back board below the Apple keyboard with
an Intel I igent board containing a '6504 processor. Pairs of keys toggle the Apple-Enhancer
combination between two modes, effectively doubling the Apple keyboard. All 128 ASCII characters
can be entered into the Apple, The board contains a type-ahead buffer of 128 characters which
can be enab I ed or d i sab I ed (a necessary feature for a 1 1 you Gobbl er f ans ) . The Enhancer a I so
al lows user definable keyboard macro commands. These can either be entered manual ly from the
keyboard or from a previously prepared disk, A single keystroke can cause a string of up to 510
characters to be entered into the Apple, or multiple macros can be defined as long as the total
number of characters defined at any given time does not exceed 510.
There are now two 8088 cards available for the Apple. ...now maybe a little price war...? Memory
has gone that way. Saturn has a 128K RAM card for the Apple now at S599, These memory prices
are becoming comparable to disk drive prices so the large memory cards are becoming alternatives
to extra drives that are only required for file manipulation or sorts in some programs,
The Osborne 1 at The Data Itomain
On February 1st, The Data Domain wi I I become an authorized dealer and service center for the
Osborne 1 personal and business computer. In future Issues of the Newsletter we will highlight
var 1 ous features of this remarkab I e and i nnovat i ve mach i ne. For now, a quick overv I ew will
introduce the machine.
The Osborne t represents an unusual approach to the small computer business. The machine sells
for $1795, is completely self-contained, and comes provided with a comprehensive software library
at no extra charge. Unlike most machines in its class, the Osborne I is very portable. Although
the computer can be used as a stand-alone microcomputer, it is especially well suited as a
trave I i ng work stat i on that cart be used i n con j unct ion w i th more e I aborate m i crocomputers at
d i f ferent locat ions.
What about the software? As a general purpose computer, the Osborne } comes with software for
word process i ng, numer i ca ( ca I cu I at i ons, two Bas I c dial ects , and the CP/M operat i ng system. For
word process ing, the Osborne 1 has Wordstar, wh i ch rema i ns the standard of excel I ence for
microcomputers. Numerical appi i cat ions can be handled by Supercalc, one of the finest
spreadsheet calculating programs in the micro marketplace. The Supercalc program, very similar
to Visicalc, permits a worksheet of 64 rows and 126 columns and has a wide range of commands for
The Data Domain Newsletter
the manipulation of data within this matrix.
The computer comes with two Basics. C8ASIC, a business-oriented version of Basic, is a
compiler-interpreter language with many extensions and commands essential for complex business
programming. MBASIC is a quick, interpreted language that is ideal for short problem solving.
Both languages are from l^icrosoft, and there is a wide range of software available In these
The entire pacloge is integrated around the CP/M operating system, an industry standard that
permits a great variety of software to be used on the Osborne 1 computer.
This outstanding small computer comes with two disk drives and a built-in 5" monitor that
provides a 52-character window onto a 128 character line with automatic horizontal scrolling.
The machine has a monitor interface that will connect to- any standard external monitor. The
keyboard is typewriter standard and includes a numeric keypad and cursor control keys.
This machine has a Z80A central processor chip with eflK of random access memory. The disk drives
have lOOK bytes of storage each. In addition, an RS-232C interface is built in for communication
with a modem or printer and an IEEE 488 interface is also standard. The computer can be upgraded
to double density disk drives In March or April for $200.
What is amazing about this package is its revolutionary low price of $1795. Given the software
package included, this microcomputer Is surely the best buy in the industry. This has resulted
in great demand for the limited quantities of Osborne Is available.
Price Reduction on NEC Computer Systems
The NEC computer system, for which The Data Data l>>main has been a dealer for some time, has a
new lower price. Thanks to a price reduction from NEC, The Data Domain is able to sell this
remarkably powerful microcomputer at the prices listed betow.
Built around a Z80A compatible chip, this machine provides a wealth of powerful features for
those interested in business, education, or wordprocessing appi ications. Like most
microcomputers in its class, the NEC PC-8000 series can run either under its own operating system
or the standard CP/M. It has a flexible configuration, but the basic machine consists of a
keyboard unit (PC-8001A), an I/O unit <PC-8012A) for expansion slots and connection to disk
(drives, the duai mini dl-sk. drives (EC^QilA), and. a monitor.. .NECniakes a very high quality color
monitor and supplies a fast, high quality dot-matrix printer (PC-8025A).
Although a detailed description of the many features of this exceptional microcomputer is beyond
the scope of the Newsletter, some features deserve special emphasis. This computer has
outstanding graphics capabilities Including 8 colors displayed In a crisp 160 by 100 matrix. The
display screen can be configured in a variety of ways from 80 to 36 characters on 20 or 25 lines
to fit any imaginable terminal requirement. There is a standard Centronics printer interface
included and a TTL- level serial port that will operate at 300 to 4800 baud. The computer comes
with its own Basic dialect with advanced features such as multiple statements per line, multiple
dimension arrays. Print Using, and various color functions.
The NEC I/O unit provides great flexibility through the provision of 7 extra slots for add-on
devices. In addition, this unit permits the expansion of the machine's memory from 32K standard
to 128«. The disks are connected to the computer through the !/0 unit, and the interrupt control
circuitry implements 8 priority levels.
NEC's PC-8023A printer provides 100 characters per second speed in a dot-matrix, bi-directional.
The Data Domain Newsletter
logic-seeking mechanism. The printer has either tractor or friction feed and includes the
complete character set available on the NEC microcomputer including upper/lower case ASCII,
Greek, mathematic, and graphic characters. The printer can also produce dot graphic screen
images on paper. It operates on an industry standard parallel interface. Font sizes include 126
column, 17 characters/ inch compressed format to 40 column, 5 characters/inch expanded format at 6
or 8 lines per inch. The printer also has the capacity to do 1/144" line feeds.
In sum, this is a superior set of products, and the price reductions outlined below make it an
excellent microcomputer value,
NEC Item Reduced Price Old Price
This is the time of year we all spend hours sorting through our old check stubs and other records
to get materials together for the annual ritual of Income tax preparation. Fortunately, much of
the drudgery and compi icat ion of prepar ing those IRS forms can be automated. Several good
packages are available that turn the Apple II computer Into an efficient tax preparation system.
Although none of these programs wll I make substantive tax decisions for you, they do nnake the
preparation of forms a snap. Moreover, because form preparation is so easy, it is possible to do
your taxes two or three different ways to see how the result works out.
The Tax Preparer by HowardSoft i s a comprehensi ve program for tax form preparation. It costs
$ too plus another $35 for the updated tax tab I es for 1 98 1 returns, Th i s program i s
professional ly presented and has arrangements for ai i the lettered schedules tA, B, C, D, E, F,
G, R and RP, SE, and TO, It also includes several forms including 1040 , 2106 , 2210, 3468 , 4562,
4726, 4797, and 5695, This package of programs provides a clear set of Instructions for
preparing data and forms.
Tax Beater from Datamost by Jack and Carol Lennard Is a second program that will do an excellent
job of helping prepare taxes, Th i s package has some i nterest i ng rout 1 nes that opt 1 ml ze your
return by trying out various possibilities for schedules and arrangements within the return to
produce the lowest possible tax. In addition, this package will compare your deduction pattern
against the typical patterns published by the IRS and alert you to deductions that might be out
of line and trigger an audit. This program takes the usual schedules and forms and sells for
The Tax Manager by Micro Lab is a similar program that sells for $150 complete with the 1981 tax
tables included. This package includes the following schedules: A, B, D, E, G, and SE, It also
prepares these forms: 1040. 2106, 2210, 2441, 3468, 4625, 4726, 5695, and 6251. These three
packages are comprehens i ve and profess i ona I I y prepared , The Tax Manager has a somewhat eas i er
procedure to fol low and is more forgiving of operator errors whi le the Tax Beater has the
optimizing feature. All of these programs will do an excellent job of preparing the necessary
forms for the IRS, and all have clear manuals.
SuperScr i be II: Wordprocessing for the Apple II
On-Line Systems has had SuperScribe II available for some time and The Data Domain staff has been
PC-8012A I/O Unit
PC-8031A Mini Disk Drive (2 drives)
PC-B023A Printer (Dot-Matrix)
Tax Helpers fo r the Apple
The Data Domain Newsletter
evaluating tiiis word processor , along with a number of others. In these tests It has become clear
that the current version of Superscribe li is a superior product. The program provides Apple II
and I I + users w ith a remarkabi y powerful text ed it ing and formatti ng package that r 1 va I s such
ste I I ar performers as WordStar . A I though th I s short not i ce can not do j ust I ce to the many
advanced features of this program, a general description will give a good idea of the package's
The first feature of SuperScribe II that catches your eye is that this wordprocessor will provide
upper/lower case display on the Apple screen without any extra hardware. That means there is no
need to purchase lower case chips, or other special hardware add-ons to make this program perform
its best. Moreover, Superscribe not only provides lower case display on the screen it will give
you 70 col umns on the Apple screen without any hardware adapters. To be sure, th is 70 col umn
mode is difficult to use on a standard color tv, but It works exceedingly well on an inexpensive
monitor. If your Apple has had the shift-key modified, a vary simple operation that can be
performed at The Data Domain, Superscribe II will recognize the shift key just as a typewriter
wniiiri, 'juppr Jjr.Lha- jJ-Eo-. giua r. yn u . a siap4e+y - of- ■choTacters-not- iTOrffiat I y avaflatTt^ on the Apple
screen such as the underline.
The Superscribe Editor has many features to make the entry and modification of text simple and
efficient. Rather than list these here, let it suffice to say that anything any of the other
Apple wordprocess I ng editors can do, SuperScribe does with very few exceptions. The program
does, however, have some un 1 que features that recommend it to ser lous wr Iters, F irst, the
program wi I I handle f 1 les as long as 65K. That is close to three times as large as most
comparable programs. This is accompi ished through the use of the disk as an extension of the
App 1 e memory. Second , the ed 1 tor perm 1 ts a I arge number of custom 1 zed macros. These are
sequences of keys that are Invoked by pressing one key. Although the utility of this facility
may not be immed iatel y apparent, anyone who has complex text to enter will be del Ighted to be
able to reproduce an often typed word or phrase with a single key stroke. The editor also allows
the entry of special characters for the control of printers, and anything else that might cross
The Superscribe 1 1 formatter, cal led Runoff, does al I the normal things such as justification,
margins, indents, underl ines, boldface, headers and footers, and more. But in addition there Is
a very interesting hyphenation feature that permits the Insertion of hyphens in words that will
not fit on the line. This Is done during the printing of the document when each word that may be
a candidate for hyphenation is shown on the screen and the user can decide where the appropriate
hyphenations might be. The computer then decides which possible hyphenation will work best in
the line, uses that one, and Ignores the rest. This produces a much nicer looking line. Alsc^
the program supports special features of printers such as the Diablo that have incremental
spacing. The formatting program will fill out a justified line by distributing microspaces
between words, rather than whole spaces. This makes for a much more evenly displayed text. That
is how this Newsletter Is formatted.
The program has other features such as a powerful indexing utility, and a host of print time
opt 1 ons that make the preparat 1 on of comp I ex text re I at I vel y easy. Because It requ 1 res no
special hardware and is available at the low price of 1149.00, this wordprocessor is a Data Doman
The General Manager: Apple Data Base System Review
The increasing use of Apple II microcomputers for business applications has led to a
proliferation of data base and file managing programs. These vary from the most sophisticated
and elaborate data base mangement systems to relatively simple file and record managers. No one
program will be satisfactory for all users, and for that reason. The Data Domain carries a
The Data Domain Newsletter
wi«ty of packages such as The Data Factory, OB Master, and a new program from On-Line Systems
callad Tim General Manager.
The General l>lanager qualifies as a sophisticated data base management system. It is powerful,
flexible, and adaptable. Moreover, it has a number of features that make it quite easy to use.
This package operates through a hierarchical system. Within the data base, items are organized
in terms of their relationships within a hierarchy or organized structure. For example, a data
base system to manage a personnel records operation would be organized around individuals. There
■ould be a main record with the name of the individual, then there would be subsidiary records
with information about salaries, about positions, about benefit plan participation, and any other
rel ated information, S imi I ar I y, with in th is h ierarch ica I structure a subord i nate record may
Itsel f have subord i nates, so the record about sa I ar les cou I d i nci ude records on salar les in
hourly work and records on jobs with monthly salaries. This ability to link subjects in terms of
these various types of records provides a powerful analytical tool.
As shou I d be obv i ous from th i s examp I e, such a system perm i ts extreme I y f 1 ex I b fe records
organ i zat i on . Just about any system imag i nab I e can be constructed w 1 th The Genera I Manager .
Part of the flexibility of this package is a" result of its carefully arranged system for creating
screens of Information. These screens are the principal way the program communicates with the
user, and the ability to design these screens in practically any way desired to reflect almost
any data processing need is a major attraction of this package. l*>revoer, the program allows the
user to specify ranges of acceptable data entries, and this error checking capability lets a
company set up data entry procedures that relatively untrained operators can use.
The General Manager permits virtual ly any mathematical calculations a I lowed in Applesoft Basic
using any data contained within the data files of the program. Special calculated screens can be
created that permit the aggregation and presentation of the information contained in other
This flexibility is availabile not only when you first design an application, but is also
applicable at any time after the data base has been designed and constructed. New fields, new
screens, and new organizational arrangements can be introduced into a previously created data
Reports based on Information In the data base can be easily designed and prepared by The General
Manager. Output screens or printed output can both be created with very i ittle effort.
Moreover, the program has a faci I ity for send ing output to a d i sk file in standard format for
subsequent input into a wordprocessing program such as Superscribe 11.
If the built-in flexibility of The General Manager Is not adequate for some special application,
the program has an unusual interface to Applesoft Basic. Through the 4 command of the Applesoft
language it Is posslbl e to access the data structures of The Genera I Manager and perform any
manipulations with that data possible on the Apple computer. The manual provides examples of
this facility which adds even more power to the standard package.
The size of the data base is limited only by the number of data disks you are prepared to use.
The program can handle up to tOO data disks as part of a single data base. Many small business
applications will find it more practical to create several related data bases instead of one very
large one. The program also permits lower case input with the Videx keyboard enhancer and will
recognize and use a 16K RfM card.
Small business users with a need for sophisticated, flexible, and easy to use data management
systems should come in to The Data Domain and look closely at The General Manager.
The Data Domain Newsletter
The Data Domain Anniversary Sale
Introducing the Osborne I
Osborne 1 computer plus software: list price S 1795.00
C. lOTH FIO 40CPS Dalsywheei Printer: list price J 1995.00
Computer-printer cable; list price i 59.95
Total: list price J 3849.95
TOTAL: SALE PRICE $ 3595.00
This includes Software Minillllll
Specal prTces^also on accessories for the Osborne 1.
Ntondapt II, Osborne 1 extefnal video adapter to Zenith or other monitor with cable: t44.95
Parallel printer cable for Epson, Centronics, NEC-type matrix printers: t59.95
Keyboard Extender Cable. Standard is 12". An extender can add up to 4 feet of additional cable.
Extender cable costs S29.95 for the first foot and 15.00 for each additional foot.
Software modifications to WordStar to drive Epson, Okl, and NEC matrix printers: tSO.OO
Software modifications to SuperCalc to drive Epson, Oki, and NEC matrix printers: S50.0Q
m Data Dokaih inc.
2T\ W. OODDS STREET
8LO0MINGT0M. IN 47401
PwnA Ha. 206
Tubs, thnj Sat.